TWO officials running the Macau Grand Prix track office made a hurried exit from the enclave yesterday, saying race organisers had refused to guarantee their safety. The officials said a message from the organising committee had been left at their hotel at 9.20 am yesterday, advising them to return to Hong Kong as soon as possible. They were escorted to the jetfoil terminal by race staff but the pair, Hong Kong residents Jeremy and Wendy Richardson, said they had no evidence the Macau police had been informed of any threats. Earlier in the week they had been involved in an incident in which three drivers were refused entry to the Automobile Club of Portugal Trophy, an event for Macau drivers with 1,600 cc cars. The drivers had either not shown a competition licence or had failed to present approved safety clothing and crash helmets at the track office. On Saturday morning the two organisers were fired from the track office with 15 minutes notice, they said. 'I don't know the reason we were fired,' said Mr Richardson, who has been involved in motor sport for 27 years and claimed he was being made a 'scapegoat' by the organisers. The Richardsons said they had not been threatened personally, although they had been told there was an increased police presence around the race paddock. Mrs Richardson said the three barred drivers had subsequently turned up with correct clothing and paperwork. The two officials had supported the drivers' attempt to be reinstated to their race. But the requests were turned down by stewards, she said. 'We tried everything on their behalf to get these guys reinstated,' she said. Mr Richardson said that when it became clear the three would not race, they had turned up at the track office with their mechanics 'in an agitated state'. Although the three drivers did not race in their scheduled event, another event for the same class of car was hastily scheduled for yesterday afternoon, for which they may have been able to enter. But the race - named the Macau International Airport Cup - was not held because of the crash in the second leg of the Formula Three race. Organising committee member Paulo Ramalheirayes refused to comment on the departure of the two officials, but confirmed the decision to stage the Airport Cup been taken on Saturday. He said it was nothing to do with the ejected drivers. The race, however, was 'a good marriage between the Grand Prix and the opening of the new airport', he said.